Daronil

Question about Minions

26 posts in this topic

Regarding Minion skills, I'm just wanting to clarify something. 

I get that if you have a group of, say, Stormtroopers, who have a Ranged (Light) skill of GGG, that this applies to shots fired by a single Stormtrooper. If you have a minion group of 2, then their shots will be YGG, a group of three at YYG, etc. 

Now, if you have a group of Imperial technicians with Mechanic of GGG (and no other listed skills), then this would be a single tech working on, say, a console repair. If there were two of them, they would work with Mechanics YGG, and so on. 

So far, all good. 

Now...and this is the bit I'm unclear on - if you get into a firefight with these Technicians (let's say their Agility is GG), do their blaster shots come as a group? In other words, are their non-listed skills upgraded, or only the listed skills? 

I'm inclined to believe it's the latter, since I find it difficult to accept a group of four technicians being almost as dangerous (YYG) as a group of three stormtroopers (YYG), but I just wanted to clarify. 

Edited by Daronil

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The techies are actually better off splitting up, since their attack pool is the same whether they are grouped or not, and they would get more shots.  A bit of a flaw in the game design IMHO, so I would still keep them grouped because that's in the spirit of the framework for minions.

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10 hours ago, whafrog said:

The techies are actually better off splitting up, since their attack pool is the same whether they are grouped or not, and they would get more shots.  A bit of a flaw in the game design IMHO, so I would still keep them grouped because that's in the spirit of the framework for minions.

Strategy-wise, it's usually better for all minion groups to split up. 6 Stormtroopers individually attacking at GGG is usually more dangerous than one attack at YYYGG. But such a slog!

Really, a group of technicians shouldn't try to fight against a well-armed group of Rebs. They may have pistols, and even remember how to use them, but against more than one or two, they should probably surrender or run to alert reinforcements.

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10 hours ago, whafrog said:

The techies are actually better off splitting up, since their attack pool is the same whether they are grouped or not, and they would get more shots.  A bit of a flaw in the game design IMHO, so I would still keep them grouped because that's in the spirit of the framework for minions.

Hey doesn't it say something about individual minions being basically no threat though? Are you guys using some rule for handling individual minions and if so could you point me to it please?

Thank you

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18 minutes ago, The Grand Falloon said:

Strategy-wise, it's usually better for all minion groups to split up. 6 Stormtroopers individually attacking at GGG is usually more dangerous than one attack at YYYGG. But such a slog!

Plus, they have no chance for hitting a Triumph and really letting the Gm screw over the players! :)

 

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6 hours ago, Archlyte said:

Hey doesn't it say something about individual minions being basically no threat though? Are you guys using some rule for handling individual minions and if so could you point me to it please?

No special rules.  You can create minion groups of whatever size you like, and you can split and recombine them during an encounter as you see fit.  I'm not sure why individual minions are "no threat", other than you can usually easily one-shot them.  Maybe you could be more specific about where "it" says "something" :) 

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In my games, I typically give minion groups the linked quality equal to the number of extra troopers which then makes them more of a threat as a group, and gets rid of the need to split up for effectiveness. This has worked really well for my group over the last couple years. It gives the players some tough choices to make and makes them think a bit more strategically in bigger fights. 

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1 hour ago, whafrog said:

No special rules.  You can create minion groups of whatever size you like, and you can split and recombine them during an encounter as you see fit.  I'm not sure why individual minions are "no threat", other than you can usually easily one-shot them.  Maybe you could be more specific about where "it" says "something" :) 

AoR pgs. 409-410 It basically says minions are unlikely to succeed on even a basic combat check as individuals. I'm guessing this is because if detached from the group they have no skill and therefore such low ability to hit, as well as having those lower wound thresholds. So If I'm thinking about this right, separated minions get more attacks at a worse chance, but as a group they have a better chance to hit but will only hit once.  I guess if you wanted to enforce the book's spirit you could give separated minions setbacks too, even though I don't imagine it's needed. 

I do like the idea of minions, and I think they shouldn't be more powerful when split up in most cases, otherwise why would they fight as a group when it's obviously going to mess up the results for them?

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1 hour ago, kenngp said:

In my games, I typically give minion groups the linked quality equal to the number of extra troopers which then makes them more of a threat as a group, and gets rid of the need to split up for effectiveness. This has worked really well for my group over the last couple years. It gives the players some tough choices to make and makes them think a bit more strategically in bigger fights. 

That's a powerful but interesting idea. 

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1 hour ago, kenngp said:

In my games, I typically give minion groups the linked quality equal to the number of extra troopers which then makes them more of a threat as a group

Wow, that could be devastating.  I'm not really a fan of Linked anyway because it makes it even harder to scale encounters in a hard-to-scale game.  But it certainly makes combat something to think twice about, which can be a good thing.

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Minions are mainly a way to have a large number of disposable bad guys without slowing the game down.

The moment you start messing around with them for tactical gain, it's off course.

I have split up minion groups, but usually only in exceptional circumstances (I had a ship crew, and at one point some were (failing to) hold off the PCs, whilst others were trying to take off).

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3 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

AoR pgs. 409-410 It basically says minions are unlikely to succeed on even a basic combat check as individuals.

In general I find these books to use more than a little hyperbole in their descriptions.  If you went by the fluff text, Triumph and Despair are the most amazing things ever, but if you go by the examples in the combat chart, they're not that crazy.  So a minion with Agility 3 has a reasonable chance to hit, almost as good as a group of four, because the yellow dice only push the odds of success slightly.

7 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

I do like the idea of minions, and I think they shouldn't be more powerful when split up in most cases, otherwise why would they fight as a group when it's obviously going to mess up the results for them?

Because it's an abstraction.  It's a way to get that Star Wars feel of running from a squad of troopers and having a reasonable chance of getting away without them nailing you four times before you get out of range.  If you split up the minions then you've taken away that Star Wars feel.  If you really wanted to split them up but keep that SW feel, you could say that a minion group can't have a dice pool higher than the number of minions actually in the group.  But that's more rules and it's easier to just keep them grouped and stick with the spirit of the game.

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32 minutes ago, whafrog said:

In general I find these books to use more than a little hyperbole in their descriptions.  If you went by the fluff text, Triumph and Despair are the most amazing things ever, but if you go by the examples in the combat chart, they're not that crazy.  So a minion with Agility 3 has a reasonable chance to hit, almost as good as a group of four, because the yellow dice only push the odds of success slightly.

Because it's an abstraction.  It's a way to get that Star Wars feel of running from a squad of troopers and having a reasonable chance of getting away without them nailing you four times before you get out of range.  If you split up the minions then you've taken away that Star Wars feel.  If you really wanted to split them up but keep that SW feel, you could say that a minion group can't have a dice pool higher than the number of minions actually in the group.  But that's more rules and it's easier to just keep them grouped and stick with the spirit of the game.

Yeah I agree that the minion group provides Star Wars feel, and because of that I don't like this idea that as individuals they are somehow better, because that would seem to be something that anyone could plainly note, and then promptly disorganize into a mob for superior firepower. If you can make the rules conform to the way you want them to portray the reality in the game world its a good idea to not have things happen that create counter results. The Minion group is a great mechanic because it does make it abstract and gives the heroes a chance to face a larger group and still prevail where maybe that isn't realistic, but I don't think that having the minions split up and suddenly be awesome in their destructive power is in the spirit of the rules. 

That's a move done to try and obviously pump the power scale. Oh this minion group isn't getting it done with their one shot per round, ok they split into individual attackers. Let me see if I can get more damage with the extra chances to hit and do damage. If you want that, just have the party encounter a group of rivals. At least then it's an honest attempt to beat up the characters and doesn't make the minion system a joke. 

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I have a minion question. If 1 storm trooper has a frag grenade (limited 1)he throws it end of story. But if I have a squad of 4 stormtroopers, would they all throw their grenades at once, or would they be able to make 4 YYY grenade attacks?

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1 minute ago, Felswrath said:

I have a minion question. If 1 storm trooper has a frag grenade (limited 1)he throws it end of story. But if I have a squad of 4 stormtroopers, would they all throw their grenades at once, or would they be able to make 4 YYY grenade attacks?

I wouldn't do it. I would rule that the group has tossed their grenades as one YYY attack, which is greatly enhanced because there are four of them throwing. At least one of the grenades is likely to hit somewhere near the PCs. Again, it's abstract. Like someone else mentioned in another thread, the key with FFG SW is that you describe the action after you roll the dice, which is the opposite of most other systems. 

So 4-trooper minion group throws grenades. YYY gets 3 successes and activates Blast. A couple of PCs are damaged.

"As you hunker down behind cover, you hear muffled shouts from the troopers. Someone shouts 'grenade!' and you hear the distinctive clinking of frag grenades bouncing off the walls nearby. You all hit the ground, protecting your heads instinctively. A series of ear-spitting detonations leaves you reeling and disoriented, and you pray to whatever gods watch over your homeworld that the troopers have expended the last of their explosive ordnance."

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14 hours ago, Felswrath said:

I have a minion question. If 1 storm trooper has a frag grenade (limited 1)he throws it end of story. But if I have a squad of 4 stormtroopers, would they all throw their grenades at once, or would they be able to make 4 YYY grenade attacks?

It doesn't really matter about the numbers.  The whole system is an abstraction and you narrate it the way you want.

So the important bits are:

  1. you only make one roll of YYY because that is the effective impact of whatever you narrate.  Maybe from YYY you get a Triumph and several Advantages, so you trigger Blast and a Crit and narrate it as "There's a sudden quiet and then you hear the ominous phrase 'fire in the hole!', as a couple grenades are lobbed your way.  The Blast gets one of you for X damage, and someone else takes a Crit..."
  2. you don't have to state ahead of time whether one stormtrooper or all four lobbed their grenades, it's not relevant.

Now, technically you could split up the minion group and have each four make their own attack at GGG, but, as noted above, that's kind of against the spirit of the rules, not to mention the PCs will likely get toasted by such a volley.

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On ‎24‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 5:41 PM, whafrog said:

It doesn't really matter about the numbers.  The whole system is an abstraction and you narrate it the way you want.

So the important bits are:

  1. you only make one roll of YYY because that is the effective impact of whatever you narrate.  Maybe from YYY you get a Triumph and several Advantages, so you trigger Blast and a Crit and narrate it as "There's a sudden quiet and then you hear the ominous phrase 'fire in the hole!', as a couple grenades are lobbed your way.  The Blast gets one of you for X damage, and someone else takes a Crit..."
  2. you don't have to state ahead of time whether one stormtrooper or all four lobbed their grenades, it's not relevant.

Now, technically you could split up the minion group and have each four make their own attack at GGG, but, as noted above, that's kind of against the spirit of the rules, not to mention the PCs will likely get toasted by such a volley.

Exactly. The upgrade in skills comes from all the minions in a group working together. Justify it however you like, but they definitely therefore shouldn't get four separate attacks.

 

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On 9/20/2017 at 1:52 AM, Archlyte said:

Hey doesn't it say something about individual minions being basically no threat though? Are you guys using some rule for handling individual minions and if so could you point me to it please?

Thank you

There is a world of difference between one lone Stormtrooper rolling GGG and ten individual Stormtroopers rolling GGG ten times. The ten individual Stormtroopers are also more likely to be a threat to the party than the two teams of five Stormtroopers rolling YYYG two times per turn.

 

However, most of the Star Wars universe is populated by almost-literal cannon fodder. Rolling for each individual Stormtrooper is slow, reduces the number of cannon fodder you can fire at the party without getting a TPK, and puts a lot of attention on individual pieces of something far closer to a plot device than proper NPCs. This is why we have the minion rules - it speeds the game up, and lets the PCs feel like badasses after mowing through a few squads of mooks.

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8 hours ago, Degenerate Mind said:

There is a world of difference between one lone Stormtrooper rolling GGG and ten individual Stormtroopers rolling GGG ten times. The ten individual Stormtroopers are also more likely to be a threat to the party than the two teams of five Stormtroopers rolling YYYG two times per turn.

 

However, most of the Star Wars universe is populated by almost-literal cannon fodder. Rolling for each individual Stormtrooper is slow, reduces the number of cannon fodder you can fire at the party without getting a TPK, and puts a lot of attention on individual pieces of something far closer to a plot device than proper NPCs. This is why we have the minion rules - it speeds the game up, and lets the PCs feel like badasses after mowing through a few squads of mooks.

Yeah I am more concerned about the thing where a minion group pulls a reverse Voltron and splits up into 6 separate attacks at same damage as the minion group had minus the extra successes. That seems to me to be kind of a bull gotcha for a GM who is either unable to eat what he put on the table, or for someone who just wants to be sadistic toward the players. 

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You can always make their weapons less powerful to mitigate damage output towards the players.   I know the "canon" is they have a specific type of weapon, but there's nothing saying you can't simply lower the damage output of that gun, or give them lower quality weapons instead.

As to the "10 single minions rolling GGG is more deadly" comment, there's nothing saying the troopers have to have a 3 in the primary stat.  I think 2 in a Characteristic is considered "average" in the system?  I seem to recall hearing a dev say that on an O66 podcast episode.   And stormtroopers are the definition of "average" as far as cannon fodder goes.   So another thing you can do is simply reduce their attack stat to 1-2, and have them fight individually.   If the PC's have decent defenses (cover, armor, defensive talents, etc), the likelihood of a minion scoring a hit with 1-2 dice, is very very low, plus, they will probably only do minimum damage, which could potentially be entirely soaked for some PC's.  

So you could still have them be there en masse to be threatening, but have them be total pushovers until your players are more durable.   I mean if the plan is for them to be throw-away anyway, they don't have to be top tier minions.  Give them crap stats, and crap gear, and let the only thing they have going for them be sheer numbers, which can be quickly whittled down.

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3 hours ago, Archlyte said:

Yeah I am more concerned about the thing where a minion group pulls a reverse Voltron and splits up into 6 separate attacks at same damage as the minion group had minus the extra successes. That seems to me to be kind of a bull gotcha for a GM who is either unable to eat what he put on the table, or for someone who just wants to be sadistic toward the players. 

Aw, there's a limit to how many likes I can give in one day!? This forum's technology is getting worse all the time!

Anyway, I agree. There's a time and a place for a meat grinder GM, such as an old-fashioned D&D dungeon delve, but SWRPG definitely isn't made for that kind of play style.

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1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

You can always make their weapons less powerful to mitigate damage output towards the players.   I know the "canon" is they have a specific type of weapon, but there's nothing saying you can't simply lower the damage output of that gun, or give them lower quality weapons instead.

As to the "10 single minions rolling GGG is more deadly" comment, there's nothing saying the troopers have to have a 3 in the primary stat.  I think 2 in a Characteristic is considered "average" in the system?  I seem to recall hearing a dev say that on an O66 podcast episode.   And stormtroopers are the definition of "average" as far as cannon fodder goes.   So another thing you can do is simply reduce their attack stat to 1-2, and have them fight individually.   If the PC's have decent defenses (cover, armor, defensive talents, etc), the likelihood of a minion scoring a hit with 1-2 dice, is very very low, plus, they will probably only do minimum damage, which could potentially be entirely soaked for some PC's.  

So you could still have them be there en masse to be threatening, but have them be total pushovers until your players are more durable.   I mean if the plan is for them to be throw-away anyway, they don't have to be top tier minions.  Give them crap stats, and crap gear, and let the only thing they have going for them be sheer numbers, which can be quickly whittled down.

Yeah and there seems to be different thinking on Stormtroopers. Are they elite forces or no? There are stats for imperial Army troops that are supposed to be like regular troops or something, but if Stormtroopers are nothing special then those guys are substandard in a big way. 

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2 minutes ago, Degenerate Mind said:

Aw, there's a limit to how many likes I can give in one day!? This forum's technology is getting worse all the time!

Anyway, I agree. There's a time and a place for a meat grinder GM, such as an old-fashioned D&D dungeon delve, but SWRPG definitely isn't made for that kind of play style.

Well I liked your post, and I appreciate the thought even though the evil forum like meter has got a hold of you. And I couldn't agree more about the style.

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3 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

Yeah and there seems to be different thinking on Stormtroopers. Are they elite forces or no? There are stats for imperial Army troops that are supposed to be like regular troops or something, but if Stormtroopers are nothing special then those guys are substandard in a big way. 

I wouldn't think your standard "boys in white" are "elite", by the game's mechanics.  When I think "elite" I don't think "disposable minion trash that is just there to die."   When I think "Elite Imperial Trooper" I think that relegates them to Rival/Nemesis status.    Minion level Troopers are the backwater idiots that get stationed at Mos Eisley doing checkpoint detail, or the guys talking about the T-16 model that just came out, etc.     The guys who are just doing their stint in the Imperial Army so they can go to college, and the National Guard wasn't accepting that week.    Those are minions.   Peppering groups of minions with one or 2 Elite Troopers (Read Rival level skill), seems more appropriate when you are ready to increase the difficulty on your party.

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